I spent my early 20’s wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up, when I was a kid I honestly thought I would be an English teacher or a Veterinarian. I loved to read and loved dogs, so why shouldn’t I build my passion into a career someday?
I spent the day yesterday on a college visit / campus tour with my oldest daughter. It was a near perfect day for both of us. Great school, incredible excitement, optimism everywhere, great weather. It was such a good day that it made me want to go back to school (…not really).
It was interesting to talk about the day and the impending decision to attend the school with my daughter, after the dust had settled. At the core of the conversation we had for the next several hours, she was asking me about how I thought about big decisions. The conversation helped me talk through some of the key strategies I have used throughout my career to make big decisions, both professionally and personally.
As I talked it through with her, here are some of the things I told her about strategies for big decisions:
1) The big picture matters. See big decisions in context. Big decisions set you down a course. Often the outcome of this course is unpredictable, but what is very predictable is the general direction that the decision drives you. The direction you choose is probably the single most important aspect of big decisions in life. For example, choosing to start your own business with a franchise system sends you down a possible path to personal freedom and personal legacy. While the success of this path is not guaranteed, it is a very different course than continuing to work for someone else.
Franchising is an interesting business model, someone out there created a business and replicated it, then they decided to share that business with others. The early days of large brands all have an interesting story and date back to the 1950’s, brands such as McDonald’s, Subway, Holiday Inn and other similar household names. They paved the way for me to start my franchise career in the 1990’s and help fuel the passion I have to create a lifetime career in the field.